Buhari Approves Appointment Of Ipaye, Akande As DCOS And SSA (Media)

Femi-Adesina-SA-Media-to-BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr. Rahman Adeola Ipaye as Deputy Chief of Staff and Mr. Laolu Akande as Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) in the Presidency.

The two new appointees will work in the Office of the Vice President, a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr Femi Adesina said on Thursday.

Mr. Ipaye is the immediate past Attorney General of Lagos State.

He studied at the University of Lagos where he graduated with B.A. (Hons) Degree (History) in 1984; LL.B. Hons (1988) and LL.M. (1991). He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators respectively.

Before his appointment as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ipaye was employed as a lecturer in the Department of Commercial and Industrial Law, University of Lagos (1992 to 2001); Special Assistant (Legal Matters) to the Governor of Lagos State (2001 to 2007); and Special Adviser (Taxation and Revenue) to the Governor of Lagos State and member of the State Executive Council (2007 to 2011).

Mr. Laolu Akande graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1990 with an honours degree in History and a Masters degree in Communication & Language Arts in 1992.

He became a Staff Reporter of the Guardian newspaper in 1990 while still serving under the National Youth Service Corps. He left The Guardian to join the foundation team of The News Magazine in 1993, where he became Senior Writer. In 1997, he was appointed by Nigerian Tribune as editor of the Tribune on Saturday, a position he held until he moved to the United States of America in 1998.

In the United States, he worked as a journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Newsday. He also served at the United Nations as a Press Officer and later as an Advocacy and Communication Consultant. He was also the Bureau Chief of The Guardian in North America and the Executive Director of the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN.

Mr. Akande taught at the State University of New York at Stonybrook and also Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York between 2002 and 2015.

Ipaye and Akande have been working with Vice President Osinbajo since the inception of the Buhari-led administration.

Fashola Swears-In Three New Judges

Governor-FasholaLagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola today sworn in three new judges into the state judiciary.

The three judges are Justice Obafemi Abdul Afis Adamson, Justice Adedayo Adeola Akintoye and Justice Olabisi Ogungbesan.

Before their new appointment, Justice Ogungbesan and Adamson were senior official of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice while Justice Adeola was a serving magistrate in the state judiciary.

The three new judges brings to 57, the number of judges in the state. While 41 of the judges are female, 16 are men.

Speaking at the ocassion, Fashola said he is confident that the new judges would dispense justice with utmost fairness and dedication.

He urged the judges to develop themselves as changing world trends are are currently redefining the way justice is been administered.

“Your quest for knowledge must be unending. The world is changing and new trends are defining how justice is dispensed across the world. You must kept yourselves updated with these trend” he charged the judges.

Fashola also assured the judges that the state government remains commitment to the welfare of the judiciary.

He said that new courtrooms located at Epe and Badagry would soon be commissioned by the state government.

In her address, Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Olajumoke Atilade urged the new judges to live above board and conduct themselves according to the code of conduct of judicial officers.

Justice Atilade noted that the new judges with their wealth of experience would help to ease the work load on other judges occasioned by rising population of Lagos and crave for justice.

She urged the judges to be morally upright in dispensing justice in the state judiciary.

Earlier while presenting the judges, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye noted that the State Judicial Service Commission, serving judges, members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and all others have scrutinized the new judges designate and unanimously found them worthy before presenting them to the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Ipaye added that the NJC had in turn examined the candidates’ qualifications, Competence, experience and integrity before approving their appointment.

He added that the appointment of the new judges was necessitated by the increasing quest of Lagos residents for justice and the need to moderate the workload of individual judges.

Court Refuses To Stop Synagogue Inquest

NFFA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has refused to issue restraining orders to stop the inquest into the Synagogue building collapse.

Justice Ibrahim Buba refused to stop the inquest in a ruling delivered on an oral application brought by a Lagos based lawyer, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, who is seeking to stop further sittings in the Coroner’s court, on the basis that the outcome will be biased against the Founder of the Synagogue Church, TB Joshua.

The court said it will hear the case on its merit.

On Sept. 12, a six-storey building within the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, collapsed in the Idimu area of Lagos, killing 116 people and leaving several others injured.

On Sept 26, the Lagos State Government constituted a Coroner’s Court to unravel the circumstances leading to the incidence with a view to forestall a recurrence. Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe was appointed Coroner.

The coroner has taken testimonies from some parties interested in the inquest before Lagos lawyer, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, on Oct. 28, filed a suit, seeking an order to restrain further proceedings in the suit.

Listed as defendants in the suit are the Lagos State Government, the Attorney General of the State, Mr Ade Ipaye, and Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe.

When the case was mentioned on Tuesday, Counsel representing all the respondents, Mr Akinjide Bakare, informed the court that he had been served with the processes filed by the applicant.

He however, prayed the court for a short time to regularise his responses.

In reaction, Counsel to the applicant, Mr Nelson Okedinachi, said although he was not opposed to the adjournment, it was important for the court to issue an order, restraining the Coroner from further inquest.

He informed the court that the General Overseer of the Church, Prophet T.B Joshua, had already been summoned to appear before the Coroner on Nov. 5, adding that it was important to stop this.

According to Okedinachi, “the draconian speed at which the coroner’s court is sitting, simply means that after it summons Prophet T.B Joshua, it would make it findings and submit its report, then this entire suit will be a waste.

In response to this, Bakare informed the court that since he had been served with the processes of the applicant, it was important for him to put in his response.

He noted that the said Prophet T.B Joshua was not held in detention, and had not declined to appear before the Coroner, adding that there was no basis for the application for restraint.

“The said T.B Joshua is not held in detention and has not refused to appear before the court, so I wonder why a man will drink Panadol for another man’s headache” he said

After listening to the submissions of counsels, Justice Ibrahim Buba held that an order of interim injunction was not necessary in the situation, since the applicant was not personally affected by the inquest.

“Although, Okedinachi wants an order of interim injunction restraining T.B Joshua from appearing before the coroner, I must say that he is not a party to the suit, neither is he held in detention.

“The respondents were served with the court processes on Friday, and by the rules, they have five days to respond, but time was abridged and they accepted, and so, let us not loose sight of the issue here.

“If Ogungbeje was the party summoned before the coroner, then the issue of a restraining order will arise, but in this situation, how can I restrain the whole world.

“The applicant has not shown that he will suffer any danger if the restraining order is not granted, and so, I will hear this case on its merit on Thursday, Nov. 6, and I will not grant any restraining orders; this is the ruling of this court” he said

It would be recalled that the applicant in his suit, averred that the composition of the Coroner’s Court, was a negation of the principle of natural justice and Section 36 of the Constitution, and as such, was unconstitutional and void.

He averred that the inquest was constituted by the Lagos State Government after the agencies of the state government had indicted the Church of erecting additional structures on an already existing building without approval.

He argued that if allowed to continue, the proceedings of the Coroner inquest will occasion a miscarriage of justice, as the same Coroner would based its decision on the testimonies of the same agencies of Lagos State.

The lawyer alleged that the Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA), the Lagos State Building Control Agency, and the Lagos State Fire Service, had made prejudicial reports that the building collapsed due to additional structures.

He averred that the contention of the Church that the building collapsed as a result of an aircraft hovering round the building moments before it collapsed, was ignored.

Ogungbeje averred that The Lagos State Building Control Agency went ahead to seal up the main building of the church.

The lawyer, is therefore, seeking an order nullifying the composition of the Coroner and the proceedings so far, as well as an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants jointly and severally from further proceedings.

He wants every sitting, investigation, fact finding or any action in any manner whatsoever on any facts connected to the case, to be put on hold until the suit is determined.

Justice Atilade Sworn-In As New Chief Judge Of Lagos

New_CJLagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, Wednesday swore in Justice Oluwafunmilayo Olajumoke Atilade as the new Chief Judge of Lagos State.

Atilade was a former High Court Judge. She became CJ following the retirement of her elder sister, Justice Ayotunde Philips from the bench of the state judiciary as Chief Judge.

This is the first time in the history of the state judiciary that siblings will succeed each other as Chief Judge of the state.

Presenting the Chief Judge designate, for the oath of office, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye said that due to the exit of Justice Ayotunde Phillips, it had become necessary for Lagos State to have a new Chief Judge.

 “In that regard, section 271(1) of the Constitution provides that ‘the appointment of a person to the office of the Chief Judge of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to the confirmation of the appointment by the House of Assembly of the State,’” .

Ipaye, however, added that the Chief Judge designate has indeed been recommended by the National Judicial Council and appointed by the State Governor, her appointment has also been reviewed, found worthy and confirmed by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

In her response, the newly sworn in Justice Atilade praised her predecessor’s immense contributions to the growth and development of the judicial arm of the state while promising to continue from there.

She promised to complete the computerisation process of the judiciary and make a case for the appointment of more judges to speed up hearing of cases at the court.

Atilade further said she would continue with the decongestion of prisons started by her predecessor, especially with those awaiting trial.

Atilade was born on  24 September, 1952.

Ban On Hijab: Court Fixes September 26 For Judgment

court-hammer-gavel1A Lagos High Court in Ikeja has fixed September 26 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by the Muslim Student Association of Nigeria against the Lagos State Government over the use of Hijab by female Muslim students in the state’s primary and secondary schools.

Justice Modupe Onyeabo fixed the date after counsel to the students, Mr Gani Adetola-Kaseem (SAN) and the Lagos State Solicitor-General, Lawal Pedro (SAN) argued and adopted their written submissions.

Mr Adetola-Kaseem in his arguments in court on Friday maintained that the essence of wearing Hijab by Muslim females is to prevent them from tempting people of the opposite sex or being tempted by them and also to protect their chastity.

The lawyer also insisted that it is mandatory for all Muslims who have attained puberty to participate fully in the practice of Islam, including Islamic dressing mode, worship and fasting.

He submitted that from the Islamic point of view, womanhood is determined not by biological age or marriage but by the time a person has attained the age of puberty. This age he says varies between individual. Some females attain puberty as early as the age of nine years while others attain puberty at age 13 or more.

The lawyer therefore urged the court to grant the application because the position of the Lagos State Government violates the religious rights of the applicants and it is the duty of the court to protect them.

In his response, the counsel to the State Government, Mr Pedro, argued that the wearing of uniforms in public primary and secondary schools is for identification of students from different schools in Lagos and also to encourage a sense of unity, discipline, organisation and orderliness amongst the schools.

He also submitted that the clamour and demand for the compulsory use of Hijab on top of the school uniform by Muslim girl students in Lagos is a recent development.

Two Muslim students, of Atunrashe Junior High School, Surulere, Lagos State, Miss Asiyat Abdulkareem and Miss Maryam Oyeniyi, had filed the suit through their fathers – Alhaji Owolabi Abdulkareem and Mr. Suleiman Oyeniyi.

In the suit, they claimed that the restriction of the use of the Hijab, violates their fundamental human rights.

They also argued that banning female students from using Hijab on or outside the premises of any educational institution in Lagos State “is wrongful and unconstitutional”.

The defendants in the suit are the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye; the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye; and the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mr. Oyinlomo Danmole.

Lagos Bans Use Of Siren By Unauthorised Persons

The Lagos State Government has banned the indiscriminate and unlawful use of siren in the state.

The Attorney-General of Lagos State and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, announced the ban in a notice issued to remind the general public, especially drivers and other road users in Lagos State.

The Attorney-General said that the use of siren and other noisy devices in vehicles is prohibited under the Lagos State Road Traffic Law.

He noted that the only exception allowed by the law is in respect of vehicles in use for emergency purposes, such as ambulances, fire engines and law enforcement vehicles on urgent call.

Ipaye added that apart from those listed, nobody is allowed to use siren or other noisy device in a vehicle within the territorial boundary of the State, insisting that it is criminal.

According to the Attorney General, “the use of siren and other noisy devices have caused unnecessary harassment to innocent road users and resulted in many instances of traffic congestion, avoidable motor accidents, damage to property and personal injury.”

He, therefore, called on road users in Lagos to note that under section 24 (c) of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2011, “it is a criminal offence to use or deploy siren or other noisy device in a vehicle within the State.

“By virtue of section 36 (1) of the same Law, convicted offenders may be fined up to thirty thousand Naira (N30, 000.00) and/or imprisoned for up to three (3) years.”

Ipaye noted that in addition to the above penalty, offenders would be held fully responsible for damages or injury caused by their contravention, and the offending vehicle is also liable to be forfeited to the State by virtue of section 36 (2) of the law.

“Law enforcement officers have been directed to ensure full compliance with the Lagos State Road Traffic Law for the purpose of ensuring the peace, safety, and security of all residents and visitors on our roads’’, the Lagos AG added.

Ipaye, while thanking the law abiding people of Lagos State for their continued partnership in making the state a model mega city, warned that anybody who contravenes any section(s) of the law should be prepared to face the full wrath of the law.

Road Safety: Lagos Square Off With FERMA/SURE-P Task Force

frscThe Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act was enacted by the National Assembly and assented to by President Olusegun Obasanjo.

With this act establishing FERMA and for matters connected therewith, the agency became Nigeria’s first institutional mechanism for monitoring and maintaining, all federal roads in the country.

The Lagos State Attorney-General, Ade Ipaye, and members of the state House of Assembly, Western Nigeria raised alarm for the second time some months ago over the activities of the FERMA task force, a group of unemployed Nigerians allegedly recruited and trained by the federal agency in the state.

Many of these task force members had taken over major roads in the state, controlling traffic and taking over the jobs of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and the State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA.

Earlier this week, about 200 young men were arrested in Lagos state on Wednesday, May 28, following a face-off between men of the Police and a group identified as the Federal Task Force, which claimed it has a link with the Presidency.

It was gathered that the men of the Federal Task Force attacked the Police with bottles, after the security men barged into their office located on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

On this segment of Sunrise, Commissioner for Transport, Lagos State, Kayode Opeifa, and Commissioner of Police, Lagos command, Umaru Manko speak on matters arising.

Lagos Has No Means To Relocate Badia Residents – Ipaye

The Lagos state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye has said that the state government does not have the means to relocate persons who were evicted from Badia East local government area, adding that, they were illegal residents of the swamp turned slum.

He said this on Sunrise while discussing about the alleged 9000 people who lost their homes as a result of forceful eviction and demolition by the Fashola led administration, in February.

A report by Amnesty International and the Socio Economic Right Action Centre stated that satellite pictures revealed a densely populated area containing concrete house and other structures razed to the ground but the Lagos State government denied this claim and said that the area was a rubbish dump.

A Nigerian representative of the Amnesty International, Oluwatosin Popoola confirmed that “approximately 36,000 square meters of high density structures were razed to the ground on the 23rd of February 2013”.

He further stated that the Lagos state government sent in bull dozers with the support of heavily armed police officers. Their research in May interviewed over 40 affected persons who testified to this.

“Several structures were demolished by officials of the Lagos state task force,” and “we were told the government didn’t come to mark any of their properties,” he added.

Their report also revealed that the residents were not informed beforehand and so were caught unawares by the eviction.

However, the Lagos state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye insisted that the 10 hectare area was an uninhabited swamp which ‘grew into a refuse dump’.

He said the government had projects it wanted to carry out on the land but before this could happen, scavengers came in and built wooden structures.

“The state governor had been there at least twice 2008 and in October, 2012, where “we made it clear that it was not permissible for people to build so called homes on refuse.”

He added that the area had harboured criminals who would carry out criminal activities in neighbouring communities.

A former resident of Badia who was born and bred in the area, Friday Ogunyemi, refuted the claims of the Commissioner, adding that the site was not a refuse dump.

He disclosed that the former state governor, Bola Tinubu had led a team of bull dozers in 2003.

He said their forefathers had been relocated from Oluwole Village (which was later called National Art Theatre) to the ‘back of Marble industry’ (now Badia east) which was owned by the Federal Government and not the Lagos state government.

Mr Ogunyemi also disclosed that the Federal Government in 2005 proposed a ‘slum upgrading’ project for the benefit of the residents. Lagos state was part of the technical committee.

FG Loses Control Of Hotels, Tourism To States

The Supreme Court has ruled that it is only a State House of Assembly that can make laws on tourism or licensing and grading of hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets and other hospitality establishments.

A panel of the apex court judges on Friday unanimously dismissed the case filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and upheld the contention of the Attorney General of Lagos State, Ade Ipaye, that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, only empowers the National Assembly to regulate tourist traffic, a term which does not extend to hotel registration or licensing.

The Supreme Court declared valid both the Hotel Licensing Law of Lagos State (as amended) and the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law of Lagos State, while the offending sections of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Act were declared null and void.

The Lagos state government and federal government had been embroiled in controversy over the proper authority to license and grade hospitality establishments.

This had resulted in the NTDC and the state government setting up parallel registration and regulation structures in the state.

The Lagos Attorney General on behalf of the state government had argued during the hearing that the only power reserved to the National Assembly on the Exclusive Legislative List in Schedule 2 of the Constitution was the regulation of tourist traffic, which only pertained to immigrations and the issuance of visas.

Representing the Attorney General of the Federation, Tunde Busari, contended that the phrase was enough to cover all tourism subjects and that the NTDC Act had therefore covered the field.

On those grounds, Mr. Busari called on the court to invalidate the Hotel Licensing Law and Hotel Consumption Tax Law of Lagos State.

The Court however ruled in favour of Lagos state in this case and also in another case filed on the same subject which was consolidated with the first one for hearing.

Justice Suleiman Galadima who read the lead judgment rejected the submissions made by Busari on behalf of the federal government in both cases, and dismissed the case.

By dismissing the case of the federal government, the apex court has put paid to this controversy and paved way for state governments to take full charge of tourism regulation and development within their respective jurisdictions.

Commenting on the judgment, the Commissioner for Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations in Lagos state, Disun Holloway declared the ruling as a landmark and commended the Supreme Court for upholding the tenets of Federalism.

He added that the judgment will eradicate multiplicity of taxation and regulation, thereby enabling states to take charge and properly plan for the hospitality industry in their respective territories.

Lagos to ban smoking in public

In line with efforts by the international community to clampdown on smoking, the Lagos state government has announced plans to ban smoking in public places in the state.

The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, made this known on Monday when he stated that “the provisions of the new traffic laws had prohibited people from drinking or smoking while driving in the state.”

He hinted that the ban on smoking will be an extension of the state’s traffic law which already forbids drivers to drink.

According to Mr Ipaye, “it is an offence to smoke while driving, smoking is totally prohibited for drivers; obviously it is not just for safety reasons it is also for health reasons because we are moving towards banning smoking in all public places.

“It is an offence to drive drunk; if you’ve been taking drugs, this law provides for blood test to determine whether you have ingested drugs which are inconsistent with your ability to drive.”

“So, this law makes it an offence to drive without a driver’s license, without proper plate numbers. It is an offence to use the phone while you are driving except you have hands-free set so you don’t need to put the set to your ear.’’

Ipaye said the government decided to “criminalise” traffic offences and sanction offenders, as part of the strategy to bring the chaotic traffic situation within the metropolis under control.

“We are keeping the roads in good repairs, but still, we have problems, and that problem is made worse by commercial motorcycles, by cart pushers, by even people rearing cattle” he said.

“There seem all of a sudden to be no rules; people just disobey the traffic lights.”

 

Commissioner explains new Lagos traffic law

The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye on Tuesday gave a detailed explanation to the reasons why the government drafted the new law regulating traffic in the city.

Mr Ipaye, who was speaking as a guest in Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said that before the law was enacted, the chaotic traffic situation in Lagos posed a threat to people’s health, careers and family life.

Non-Custodial Sentencing: Lagos introduces community service orders

The introduction of the non-custodial sentencing option is one of the reforms of the Lagos state government which is aimed among other things at decongesting the prisons and ensuring a more pragmatic criminal justice system.

On our big story tonight, our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele shows the shift from not only seeking to punish but also to rehabilitate offenders.